Friday, June 25, 2010

Figuring It All Out

This week was a week of experimentation. Shelly and I are trying to figure out how to work the Longhorn training plan into our week. Our two experiments this week were swimming in the morning at the Medical Center gym, and adding weights to our schedule.

Swimming in the morning was that we were able to get to the gym at 5:30 a.m. and get a lane each to swim in. We did find out that shaded goggles don't work so well in the dark (duh) and that crickets love to hang out in the pool in the early morning (gross). We only swam 500 meters because that's what the first week of the plan calls for. After that, both of us agree that we'll bump the swimming up to at least 1000 meters each time, which is still cutting our swim time in half from what we've been doing. We'll follow the an extent! But we can't be swimming only 500 meters at a time. After we swam, we ran around the loop at the Med Center for 2.5 miles and then drove to work with enough time to spare to get tacos at the cafe on the way to our desks!

Adding weights to our schedule was easy. Walking around after doing them wasn't so easy. We did squats, walking lunges, step-ups, crunches, pushups, and plank on Tuesday morning, and we both felt it on Wednesday and Thursday! I have never had such a sore behind. And we only did one set of each! Today's weights were more for the upper body - I guess I'll find out tomorrow if they made me sore. A sore upper body will make for a weird swim tomorrow at the lake.

So I think we've figured out the schedule, for the most part. We've even worked in a rest day on Mondays (which means doubling up a swim and a run somewhere else during the week). Now we just have to wait until July 5 to actually start training.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We Can't Back Out Now!

It's official - Shelly and I have registered for the Longhorn Ironman 70.3. We attended the training group meeting on Wednesday evening and bought our training plan from Dawn. Price tag so far: $291 for the race entry, $75 for the training plan/coaching, $70 for new purple swimsuit/goggles/matching cap (the last set of purchases wasn't necessary at all, but the suit is just so cute).

For the last few days, I've talked about nothing but Half Ironman to anyone who will listen. Robert seems reluctantly supportive (he's worried that I'm going to get hurt and not get to the start line, or hurt during the race and not be able to finish...and he doesn't want me to be disappointed. I understand his concerns because I have the same ones flapping around in my own head.). Terri (my manager at work) asked an innocent question in our weekly one-on-one meeting (I think it was, "What are you doing this weekend?") and I responded with way more than she wanted to hear about training and racing in general, and the Longhorn in particular. I'm just really, really excited about taking on this goal, and I can't wait to get started.

After taking a look at the training plan, I'm a little concerned about the high number of workouts per week. It's more than what we're used to. But, the swim workouts are tiny compared to what we usually do, and the running miles per week don't add up the way ours usually do. I see immediately that it's going to be the Summer of the Bike. Four bike workouts a week is going to be difficult to schedule around work and the summer heat. I do see a need to get stronger on the bike because that is where the majority of the race takes place, but I'm afraid of slacking off on the run training and then getting injured later in the summer because we start building miles without a good base.

I think I'm just going to have to trust the plan. Two more weeks til we actually start!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This Week in Training

Well, the first noteworthy thing about this week is that we didn't take a rest day, and we're not going to. The Half Ironman training plan we're getting from Dawn doesn't always have rest days (she says that an easy swim on Mondays is just as good as a rest day). I don't think we purposely didn't take a rest day, though; I think we just didn't manage to find a good time for one.

We ran Monday and Tuesday mornings because we were expecting to meet with Dawn on Monday evening, and we weren't sure what she'd tell us to do. But, we got rescheduled to meet on Tuesday evening, so we ran Tuesday morning, too.

Wednesday is always our swim/bike day because we take a half day from work especially for that workout. It worked all winter long while we were training for the marathon. This week, the swim was fabulous (in my new two-piece plaid swimsuit that I got from the Cap Tex expo - fabulous!). For the bike, we practiced in the neighborhood in our aerobars and got a little more comfortable with them. By the end of the ride, we were flying down the streets at our usual pace. However, the weather got way too hot and we were worried that we'd get too sore from the new positioning on the bike, so we cut the ride short.

On Thursday, we rode with the Tri-Sition group. Well, actually we started out with the Tri-Sition group and ended up by ourselves on Kyle Seale Pkwy. It was windy and humid, but the ride was awesome. For most of the ride back to the store along 1604, we rode in our aerobars. I think we had the fastest training ride of our lives, clocking ~21 miles at 16 mph.

And this morning we ran...faster than expected. Both of us have sore backs from the aero position. I really hope that feels better soon.

We even got in 2 small post-run yoga sessions this week as well.

I'm looking forward to Boerne Lake tomorrow morning - it will be the first swim of the season without a wetsuit. Then we'll ride the 28 mile Waring loop and practice more in the aerobars. We have a long run of 6 miles planned for Sunday.

I'm tired just typing all this, and now I'm going to bed!


Shelly and I have three more weeks until we officially start training on July 5 for the Longhorn. We're going to a seminar next Wednesday to hear more tips and tricks for training from Dawn. At that time, we'll pick up our copies of our training plan. If there's one thing Shelly and I both love, it's following a training plan.

When we met with Dawn earlier this week, we got an idea of what the plan would look like: three swims a week, three bike rides, and four runs. I started trying to work that into the schedule that we already follow, and it immediately became pretty difficult to do. Right now we only swim twice a week, and we have a short day on Wednesdays that works perfectly for a swim/bike brick. Unfortunately, the weather is becoming too hot to ride in the middle of the afternoon, which worked so nicely all winter/spring. So now we need to move a ride to early morning or late evening. And schedule swimming for times that are convenient for us but when the gym isn't too crowded to get a lane in the pool. And figure out how to fit in four runs a week without having bike/run bricks (Dawn says that bike/run bricks just beat your body up and hasten injury - your body will run if you want it to run - no need to practice it every week). Do we change our work schedule and lose the half day? We've got to talk through some solutions and find one that will work.

Being someone with a full-time job, family obligations, and the desire to every-so-often have some fun that doesn't involve exercise, I'm starting to realize that this goal has the capacity to overtake my life. Best case scenario would be to go part-time at work...I wish!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Status Update

Shelly and I are going to start training for the Longhorn Ironman 70.3 on July 5, 2010.

Now that I've put it in writing, it makes it real! This is our next big challenge. When we first started triathlons just over a year ago, I remember that the first big goal was to just finish a mini Sprint. Then a Sprint. Then the big goal was an Olympic distance tri. Now we've completed 2 Olympics (TX Tri and Cap Tex), and the next logical step is the Half Ironman. (Some might argue that that isn't logical at all.)

Even though Half Ironman has the word "half" in front of it, it feels like a huge undertaking. In my mind, it's as big a goal as a marathon. It's a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride followed by a 13.1 mile run.

We've chosen a race (Longhorn, October 17). We have a coach (Dawn Elder). We have the determination and energy to get to the start line. My plan is to document our training here.